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The Best Places to Watch the World Cup in Bahrain

World Cup fever in Bahrain
World Cup fever in Bahrain | Alex Mellon / © Culture Trip
World Cup fever has swept across the island and live matches are being aired in sports bars, restaurants and shisha cafes all over Bahrain. It would be an understatement to call this a football-crazy nation, and though the Bahraini national team didn’t make it to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, fans from around the country flock to watch the international matches. Here are some great places to you can catch the action.

Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay

Spa Hotel, Hotel
The Four Seasons Hotel Manama, Bahrain
The Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay | © Nelson Cena / Shutterstock

Enjoy watching the World Cup grandstand-style. This luxurious urban resort has its own football tent where daily matches are aired live on a massive four-metre by 10-metre (13-foot by 33-foot) HD screen, as well as 160 LCD screens. There are exclusive fan zones with bean bags and lounge-style seating too. In addition to cheering for your favourite team, you can have fun playing foosball and video games in an interactive pre-match area offering a variety of footie-themed activities. You can also indulge in a delicious selection of à la carte items from Arabic appetisers to burgers and nachos. The tent will open an hour before the game on match days.

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About this place:

Romantic, Fine Dining, Stylish

Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa

Resort, Spa Hotel
Sunset at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa
Sunset at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa | Sunset at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa
Enjoy football fever with a South American touch at Layali Al Zallaq Tent. The tapas bar has been relocated to the tent and airs live matches on what it claims is the largest indoor screen in Bahrain. You can choose from a variety of flavourful tapas dishes and a varied bar and shisha menu. Watch your teams play and unwind with a breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea.
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Beach, Romantic, Relaxed

Café Amsterdam

Bar, Gastropub, Contemporary, European, Fusion, $$$
Café Amsterdam in Block 338, Bahrain
Café Amsterdam | © Café Amsterdam Bahrain

Tucked away in Block 338, Bahrain’s dynamic dining district, this unique restaurant concept is brought to life with a stylish European setting and eclectic menu. The venue includes a quaint conservatory area, a casual dining room and an upstairs sports bar where you can watch the game live. Whether you choose the true Dutch experience of warm spinach with Gouda or the classic English fish and chips, rest assured that the chefs here know what they’re doing. Other dishes from around the world are also available, including steaks and seafood, and vegans can choose from an exclusive selection of dishes.

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Meal service:

Dinner, Late Night

Atmosphere:

Traditional, Family Friendly
Mon - Sun:
12:00 pm - 2:00 am

Wembley Lounge

Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub, Contemporary, European, $$$

This venue is located on the fourth floor of the recently opened four-star Atiram Premier Hotel. Atiram Premier Hotel in Bahrain is the Middle East’s first property belonging to the well-known Spanish Atiram global chain. It’s tucked away in Juffair, a touristy area where there are several pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels all within walking distance of each other. Watch the World Cup at this spacious lounge while you chow down on juicy burgers and spicy buffalo wings. There are some special offers on drinks too.

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Meal service:

Dinner, Late Night

Atmosphere:

Casual, Relaxed

Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & Spa

Spa Hotel, Hotel

The oldest homegrown property on the island, this icon of Arabic hospitality opened its doors in 1969. Located in the heart of the city, it is, as are many buildings in Bahrain, built on reclaimed land. The hotel’s Sherlock Holmes pub has had a facelift in time for World Cup 2018. Though set with new flooring and lighting, the pub’s booth-style seating and atmosphere manage to retain the honoured old-English charm. Tuck into traditional English fare while you watch your team playing and enjoy a host of great offers on food and drink.

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Traditional, All-inclusive

Al Areen Palace & Spa

Resort, Spa Hotel
Al Qasr Tent at Al Areen Palace & Spa
Al Qasr Tent at Al Areen Palace & Spa | © Al Areen Palace & Spa Bahrain

This exotic five-star getaway lets you block out the din of the city so you can sit back and watch the games on a giant, six-metre by four-metre (20-foot by 13-foot) screen at their Al Qasr Tent. The tent has a comfortable sofa seating arrangement and can easily accommodate 150 to 300 people at a time. Choose from an exciting World Cup Menu, featuring an impressive range of drinks like ‘Dribbled by Nemar’ and ‘Free Kick by Messi’, as well as a ‘Forwards’ menu that includes delicious Arabic appetisers, and a ‘Defenders’ menu that includes grills, burgers, shrimp and more. End it with desserts from a ‘Goal Keepers’ menu featuring umm Ali (puff pastry pudding) and kunafeh (a cheesy dessert). Don’t forget to enter the competition and take home some exciting gifts.

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About this place:

All-inclusive, Relaxed, Romantic, Unusual

Boutique Café

Cafe, Restaurant, Middle Eastern, Contemporary, $$$

Buried in the heart of Adliya, this is a great shisha café and also serves a medley of international dishes from burgers, salads and sushi to prawn biryani, pasta and steaks. Their shisha is among the best in Manama, because the flavour lasts for a long time and the coal doesn’t die out quickly. Though the café opened its doors just two years ago, it has already built quite a following. It’s a fine hangout for sports fans who can relax with good food, puffing on a shisha and watching the game.

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Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Casual, Fast Casual, Relaxed
Mon - Sun:
12:01 am - 12:00 am

Sports Bay Bahrain

Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary, European, $$$
The marina at Bahrain's Amwaj Islands
The marina at Bahrain's Amwaj Islands | © Mandeep Singhs / Shutterstock

Head over to Coral Bay, which has been transformed into Sports Bay for the duration of the World Cup, to enjoy a unique beachside ambience this football season. Live matches will be aired inside the sports bar, renovated in time for World Cup 2018, as well as around the bay. The renewed sports bar offers a great atmosphere with comfortable seating and lighting, as well as some exciting offers on food and drink, setting the perfect mood for the tournament.

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Meal service:

Dinner, Afternoon Tea, Late Night

Atmosphere:

Casual, Relaxed

The Harvesters Pub & Terrace

Gastropub, Contemporary, Pub Grub, $$$

Serving some of the best pub grub in town, this is a great place to meet up with your friends and colleagues. The pub is located in Crowne Plaza, Bahrain’s lobby area, and has many screens where you can catch the World Cup action live. The terrace which overlooks the pool and garden area offers a fine ambience as well. Though Harvesters are best known for their camel burgers, their menu also features a range of other mouthwatering items. You can enjoy some exciting deals on drinks too.

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Meal service:

Dinner, Late Night

Atmosphere:

Relaxed, Casual

Yard House Bahrain

Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub, European, Mexican, Steakhouse, Seafood, American, Japanese, $$$

If you’re looking out for a casual space to hang out and watch the World Cup, and at the same time one that offers delicious but value-for-money food and drink, head to this lively, American-themed sports bar and restaurant at Diva Hotel. Tuck into a variety of soulful creations from chicken wings and quesadillas through to pulled pork wraps and T-bone steaks, and wash it all down with a range of cocktails, wines and beverages. In addition to great food, the place offers a great atmosphere, and the staff are friendly, too.

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Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner, Late Night

Atmosphere:

Relaxed, Casual
Mon - Sun:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am
These recommendations were updated on June 27, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.